- China Fears Lasting Worldwide Recession (FT)
- Grand deficit-cutting effort ends with whimper (Reuters)
- Global Economic Outlook Grim, China Tells U.S. Trade (Reuters)
- U.S. Billionaires Avoid Reporting Gains to IRS (Bloomberg)
- Deutsche Bank Could Transfer Contagion (Simon Johnson)
- Some BOJ Members Warned of Lehman Crisis-Type Shock (Reuters)
- Spain's Rajoy Triumphs With Big Election Majority (Reuters)
- Commission Proposes ‘Eurobonds’ (FT)
- Greek PM Heads for Brussels to Try to Secure Cash (Reuters)
Financial contagion in Europe is pushing already fragile global economies towards recessions, and the risk of slipping into global recession are rising significantly. Indeed, as we have warned for many months, there is a real risk of a global Depression given the scale of the debt levels in most western countries and the massive imbalances globally. A senior Chinese official, Chinese Vice Premier Wang, said yesterday that a ‘chronic’ long term global recession is certain to happen and China must focus on domestic problems. While all the focus has been on Europe in recent weeks, markets may again focus on the not inconsequential matter of the appalling US fiscal position which could see further market volatility and the dollar come under pressure again. Washington's latest fractious effort to come to grips with its mounting debt looks set to end in failure today as negotiators look set to announce they have failed to reach a deal. The Congressional ‘supercommittee ‘charged with cutting the US government's crushing $15 trillion debt looks set to admit failure which should support gold. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, reported a rise of 3.631 tons from a day earlier to 1,293.088 tons in its holdings, the highest in more than three months. The ETF witnessed an inflow of 24.422 tons last week, the biggest one-week rise in holdings since mid-August. Commerzbank say they expect to see gold trading at $1,800/oz by the end of the year. Barclays says it is sticking with a fairly bullish call for gold and says it sees the price at $1,875/oz in Q4, according to Reuters. Deutsche Bank say they expect periods of risk aversion to remain through 2012 and their strongest conviction trade remains long precious metals and specifically gold, according to Reuters.
Below we present the note from Nomura which is making the rounds today following the WSJ article referencing it and which touches upon a topic discussed by Zero Hedge way back before even the second Greek bailout from July 21, namely that the statutory law governing the sovereign bond indenture (i.e., whether bonds are issued under Greek or English law) should have major implications for trading dynamics due to the defatul fallback currency in the case of a currency collapse. In a nutshell: "Bonds issued under local law, such as Greek law, would likely be converted from euros into a new local currency—a blow to any investors left holding the paper. "New" currencies, such as a new drachma, could rapidly fall in value by as much as 50%, according to most estimates. Foreign-law debt, on the other hand, would be more likely to remain in euros, assuming a smaller euro still existed at all, the bank said." That Nomura and the WSJ is only half a year late with this discussion is not surprising. What is surprising is that the discussion has appeared in the first place: needless to say this is another rhetorical escalation in the push to get Merkel on the "same page" as it being telegraphed all too loudly that investors are now actively gearing up for a Eurozone collapse. Then again Nomura bankers are people too and deserve to be well paid for being part of the detested 1%. How else will this happen unless they too join the onslaught by the global banking syndicate which now consists of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, and virtually everyone else, expect for Goldman of course, which appears quite happy with the chips falling as they may. After all, it already has Europe by the political short hairs. Now it just needs to take charge financially too. If in the process a few not so good banks are converted into omelette, so be it.
Pick the odd one out of the following 7 banks, while in the process pointing out what they have in common: Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Jefferies Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. As it so happens 6 of the 7 are Bank Holding Companies, and have access to the Fed's various emergency facilities. The seventh, Jefferies, which a few years ago, boasted that it is now the largest remaining true investment bank after all its competitors had converted to BHC status, may soon regret it said that and did not join its peers. Why? For the same reason why on November 1, the day after MF Global filed for bankruptcy, we tweeted: "Here is why Jefferies is in deep doodoo: http://1.usa.gov/uNBhzq" The reference of course is to the now legendary prospectus for the MF Global 6.25% notes of 2016 that had the infamous Corzine key man event: "interest rate applicable to the notes will be subject to an increase of 1.00% upon the departure of Mr. Corzine as our full time chief executive officer due to his appointment to a federal position by the President of the United States and confirmation of that appointment by the United States Senate prior to July 1, 2013." At this point the only appointment Obama may give Corzine is that of a presidential pardon for a criminal felony offense (assuming of course Corzine brings a sleeping bag to Zuccotti square: the only offense for which he may ever be arrested). Alas, Jefferies, and the 6 other banks, do not have that luxury: as of late this afternoon, all six were sued by pension funds "who said the bonds' offering prospectuses concealed problems that led to the futures brokerage's collapse." Precisely as Zero Hedge expected. And unfortunately for Jefferies, this may well be the final nail in the coffin - because while the market had punished the bank for its Exposure, the biggest unknown in the past 2 weeks was whether and when it would be sued precisely for its MF Global liability. That time is now: next up - every single entity that was impaired in part or in whole as a result of the MF Global bankruptcy will follow suit and sue the same 7 banks... of which only Jefferies does not have the benefit of an infinite backstop.
If over the past several days the market has seemed as if it is acting more irrational than normal, there is a simple explanation for this: the volumes across all products have collapsed. This includes equities, bonds, single name CDS and index CDS. In essence the market has virtually ground to a halt as the chart below demonstrates. Why? There are two explanations: one is that this gradual shut down of the market is in fact an unintended and delayed consequence of the MF Global bankruptcy, which has seen material liquidity withdrawn from the non-TBTF, which in turn is impacting overall market stability and functioning. The other theory, espoused by BofA's Hans Mikkelsen in tonight's Situation Room publication is that this is nothing short of a boycott by the market on the ECB, and thus the global capital market system, in an attempt to force the European central bank to resolve the helpless situation in which Europe finds itself, where on one side Germany is staunchly against printing more currency for fears of hyperinflation, and instead demands changes to the Eurozone treaty whereby everyone hands over sovereignty to an uber Eurozone headed naturally by Germany, and on the other we have France et al. pushing for immediate monetization but without transfer of sovereignty to Merkel. Obviously the risk is that should Merkel, who has all the levereage, be pushed too far she may simply balk and say "nein, nein, nein" in the process killing the EUR with one statement. Of course Germany will lose from this chain of events as well, which is why as we have claimed for nearly a year, the fundamental equation for Europe is whether the opportunity cost of constantly bailing out European countries and/or taking on the risk of hyperinflation is worth the benefit gained by German exporters from not having a strong Deutsche Mark. We don't know the answer. But apparently BofA does: "We are all waiting for the catalyst to a better or worse market - to us this means that the markets are now waiting for the ECB to step in." And naturally, just like with Deutsche Bank which put together the case for intervention, the outcome is one where the ECB will do everything in its power to resume the Risk On posture. So under what conditions will the ECB step in? Well, BofA conveniently gives us the answer to that as well. Let's dig in.
Citi's Willem Buiter whose succinct analysis a few weeks ago sealed the coffin of the worthless EFSF, has just come out with another knock out punch this morning after telling Bloomberg TV what everyone else knows is true, but is terrified to say out loud: namely that, "time is running out fast." He adds: " I think we have maybe a few months -- it could be weeks, it could be days -- before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now." In sum - a rehash of the Deutsche Bank pitchbook to the ECB we posted earlier, only in Mutually Assured Terms that would make even Hank Paulson blush. At this point Germany has an option: tell Europe to take a hike, or go balls to wall in bailing out 250 million European's early retirement packages. The ball is in Merkel's court, who unlike Citi, JPM, DB, and everyone else, has to worry about this fickle, and potentially pitchfork bearing, thing called "voters."
Harvard University Professor Martin Feldstein, who predicted in 1998 that the euro would prove an “economic liability,” said the single currency will survive for now, even as he bets Greece quits within a year.
“With the exception of Greece leaving, I don’t think the whole thing is going to fall apart anytime soon,” Feldstein said in a Nov. 14 telephone interview. “The Greek situation is impossible.”
Say you are the CEO of Deutsche Bank (whoever that may be these days following Ackermann's stunner of an announcement yesterday), and you have so much dirty laundry that if the market so much as looks at you funny, you know very well it is game over the second you have to engage in reactionary damage control. After all your assets are 84% if not more, of total German GDP and there is no way that you can be bailed out by one country alone, even if that country is the only one that is not a complete Banana republic. So what do you do? Why you tell your bankers to write the best, most persuasive pitch book they can come up with, addressed to none other than Goldman Sachs alum and ECB head, Mario Draghi, and you tell him the truth: "Europe has hit its Tipping Point" and it is now or never. In other words, in 51 slides, your task is to convince the ECB that unless they terminally break away with their traditional stance of not monetizing, not only they, but the entire European status quo will cease existing. And that's precisely what you do. Behold: "The Tipping Point - Time To Call The ECB" - Deutsche Bank's definitive attempt to encapsulate the Mutual Assured Destruction that we are "certainly" all going to suffer, unless the ECB prints, and prints, and prints. The bottom line, you would tell Draghi, is "do nothing, and pull the cord now; or do something, risk hyperinflation which may or may not come, but at least extend and pretend for a few years." And one wonders why Crude is about to pass $100...
A Customer and Creditor's Guide to the MF Global Bankruptcy; Background & What Needs to Be Done, ProntoSubmitted by EB on 11/10/2011 10:37 -0400
Missing customer funds might be those of MF Global itself. Also, JPM gets to keep any and all collateral and cash it seized in return for $8 million?
Previously we showed what the sovereign gross level exposure to Italy is. Now, it is time to get granular and show the data at a discrete level. Below are the banks most exposed to Italy. Don't forget that courtesy of our wonderful fractional reserve financial system, with everyone's asset being someone else's liability, the question then becomes who has most exposure to these banks, and then most exposure to banks that have exposure to these banks, and so forth.
Italian borrowing costs reached breaking point on Wednesday after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's promise to resign failed to raise optimism about the country's ability to deliver on long-promised economic reforms.
Italian 10-year bond yields shot above the 7 percent level that is widely deemed unsustainable, reflecting investors' concerns that they may not get their money back, a fear that also showed up in a jump in the cost of insuring against Italian debt default.
BNP Paribas SA and Commerzbank AG (CBK) are unloading sovereign bonds at a loss, leading European lenders in a government-debt flight that threatens to exacerbate the region’s crisis.
BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, booked a loss of 812 million euros ($1 billion) in the past four months from reducing its holdings of European sovereign debt, while Commerzbank took losses as it cut its Greek, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish bonds by 22 percent to 13 billion euros this year.
The following cable from US ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy ("Ambassador Murphy spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held a variety of senior positions, including in Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong, before becoming a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006") "CONFIDENTIAL: 10BERLIN181" tells us all we need to know about what has been really happening behind the smooth, calm and collected German facade vis-a-vis not only Greece, but all of Europe, and what the next steps are: "A EUROZONE CHAPTER 11: DB Chief Economist Thomas Mayer told Ambassador Murphy he was pessimistic Greece would take the difficult steps needed to put its house in order. A worst case scenario, says Mayer, could be that Germany pulls out of the Eurozone altogether in 20 years time. In 1990, Germany's Constitutional Court ruled that the country could withdraw from the Euro if: 1) the currency union became an "inflationary zone," or 2) the German taxpayer became the Eurozone's "de facto bailout provider." Mayer proposes a "Chapter 11 for Eurozone countries," which would place troubled members under economic supervision until they put their house in order. Unfortunately, there is no serious discussion of this underway, he lamented." This was In February 2010. The discussion has since commenced.
The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications of Lehman 2.0!!!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/01/2011 08:20 -0400
Here is video outlining precisely how MF would collapse due to Fed policy, made at the beginning of the year! This wasn't hard to see coming. How many of you are willing to bet that MF Global will NOT be the Lehman of 2011? Let me rundown a few hard, painful and accurate observations that you guys who fell for that rough ass bear market rally might have overlooked.